Stopping the internet meter: weekly news update from OpenMedia.ca
Who remembers the Stop The Meter campaign?
It was awesome. It was arguably OpenMedia.ca's first big big big campaign—although not the first one that ended with a win—where over half-a-million Canadians spoke out against Big Telecom putting a pay-meter on the Internet across the entire frigging country.
Stop The Meter ended up forcing the government to tell the CRTC to go back to the drawing board on this punitive model—known as usage-based billing or UBB—over the summer in 2011, and the result was a new structure for Big Telecom and their independent competitors that makes ..way more sense.
But of course we got into the weeds, and indie ISPs were noting that Big Telecom had hiked prices on them. So we asked the CRTC for more transparency from Big Telecom, which we got in the fall, and for those prices to be grounded in ..well... reality.
This past Thursday, the CRTC made their final decision in this Stop The Meter saga, which appears to have taken small steps towards reining in Big Telecom's fees for indie ISPs. This could give those smaller providers greater cost certainty and, importantly, flexibility to offer Canadians real choice, complete with more desirable and affordable rates.
Now, of course, this isn't the end. The CRTC's decision, as many of you pointed out, was far from perfect, and Canada is still facing a digital deficit. We're still paying way too much for far too little Internet. As supporter Vince Dwyer put it on our Facebook Page, "friends in other parts of the world [...] are floored when I tell them the speed we have and the price we pay."
But thanks to the tireless efforts of the pro-Internet community—you—we're taking real steps to fix our dysfunctional telecom market. The results have clearly started to show.